A young woman is dead and 22 other people injured after a car sped onto the pavement in New York City’s Time Square. The 26-year-old driver, a US Navy veteran and US citizen, is in custody. The Honda jumped the curb and traveled three blocks before crashing.
“There is no indication that this was an act of terrorism,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters. The incident follows deadly car-ramming attacks in London, Berlin, France, Israel, and Sweden.
The FBI is investigating the incident. NYPD said the suspect, Richard Rojas, is a Bronx resident who was also arrested in 2008 and 2015 for drunk driving. Police believe the suspect was high on synthetic marijuana, known as K2. Initial tests came back negative for alcohol but positive for drugs.
“It is believed to be an isolated incident, it remains under investigation,” the New York Police Department said on Twitter. As a precaution, they still deployed extra police from anti-terror units to key locations.
Photos from the scene show casualties strewn across the walkway. Among those hurt, four were in critical condition and three sustained serious injuries, will 15 more victims suffered less serious injuries. An 18-year-old woman died in the incident, while her 13-year-old sister was among the injured.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement the event was “nothing short of horrific”.